Buffalo Bills player Damar Hamlin suffered a cardiac arrest Jan. 2 on the football field after being hit in the chest during a tackle. Hamlin was discharged from the hospital on Jan. 11 and has made several public appearances since then. But posts on social media falsely claim Hamlin died.
Illinois’ new criminal justice law, known as the SAFE-T Act, would eliminate cash bail but allow a judge to detain anyone who is deemed a danger to others or a flight risk. Social media posts misleadingly claim that anyone arrested for serious crimes, including second-degree murder, “will be let out free.”
A judge on Dec. 24 dismissed Kari Lake’s claim that there was no chain of custody for 300,000 mail-in ballots in Maricopa County, Arizona, during the 2022 election, yet posts on social media continue to spread the baseless claim. Every mail-in ballot in the county had a unique barcode and chain of custody documents to ensure security, election officials said.
In a clip from Fox News’ coverage of the Georgia Senate runoff, the vote tallies for both candidates briefly drop by thousands of votes. Social media posts use the clip to falsely claim election fraud. The Associated Press, which provided the data to Fox, said the clip shows a brief overestimate of votes caused by human error.
Country singer Jake Flint died unexpectedly on Nov. 27, just hours after his wedding. Social media posts baselessly insinuate Flint died because of the COVID-19 vaccine. The 37-year-old singer received his second dose more than a year before his death, and his representative said Flint’s death was “not related in any way” to the vaccine.
About 540,000 voters went to polling places in Arizona’s Maricopa County on Election Day, including roughly 250,000 who voted in person and over 290,000 who dropped off mail-in and provisional ballots, according to election officials. But online posts falsely claim that while 540,000 voters went to the polls, county officials only counted 248,000 ballots. All the ballots were counted.
Social media posts falsely suggest there was fraud in the Pennsylvania gubernatorial race, citing a TV graphic that showed Republican State Sen. Doug Mastriano with nearly 500,000 more votes than Democratic Attorney General Josh Shapiro, but Mastriano trailing 41.6% to 56.6%. The graphic showed inaccurate numbers that were quickly corrected on air.
Florida law allows election officials to start counting early in-person and mail-in ballots before Election Day. But social media posts falsely claim Florida counted all of its more than 7 million votes in five hours on Election Day and states that took longer committed “voter fraud.” Most states don’t allow vote counting to begin until Election Day or after polls close.
Dominion voting machines have had no issues reading ballots filled out with Sharpie pens. But an Instagram video spread the false claim that ballots filled out with Sharpies could not be counted by voting machines in Pennsylvania’s 2022 election. A Pennsylvania Department of State spokesperson said the claim is “disinformation.”
Pennsylvania uses a “not verified” code on mail-in ballot applications if a voter’s identity couldn’t be immediately verified; voters have six days after an election to submit a valid ID. But an Instagram post and some Republican leaders — including former President Donald Trump — falsely claim the state has “sent out 249,000 ballots to unverified voters” and misleadingly suggest it will result in widespread fraud.